Proskauer - ERISA Practice Center

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Ninth Circuit: Spousal Consent Not Required Under Top-Hat Plans

The Ninth Circuit held that a participant’s brother, rather than his spouse, was the proper beneficiary of benefits under a profit sharing plan. In so holding, the Court found that: (a) the participant’s first wife, who was…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Family Law

White House Budget Recommends Elimination of in-Plan Roth Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions

As reported, the Internal Revenue Code currently permits a plan design that allows plan participants to convert non-Roth after-tax contributions to Roth contributions through in-plan Roth rollovers. This design would allow a…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Taxation

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Health

IRS Clarifies Prior Guidance on Premium Reimbursement Arrangements; Provides Limited Relief

Continuing its focus on so-called “premium reimbursement” or “employer payment plans”, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released IRS Notice 2015-17 on February 18, 2015. In this Notice, which was previewed and approved by both…more
| Insurance, Labor & Employment Law, Taxation

Supreme Court Announces “Wipe-Out” of Yard-Man Presumption in Advance of Storm

With storm clouds threatening in the northeast, the Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers today by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Same-Sex Marriage Laws

It was announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two important questions relating to same-sex marriage–whether states are required to allow same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions, and whether states are…more
| Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Health

Deja-Vu All Over Again: Congress Once Again Retroactively Increases Mass Transit Benefit Limits

Prior to the enactment of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (“TIPA”) in December 2014, effective for 2014, mass transit commuters were only able to contribute a maximum of $130 per month on a pre-tax basis toward their…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Taxation

Service Provider Not A Fiduciary In Negotiating Its Contract

A federal district court in Iowa dismissed a putative class action complaint brought by several 401(k) plan sponsors who alleged that Principal Life Insurance Company breached its fiduciary duties to the plans by charging…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Insurance

District Court Defines Surcharge Broadly

A New York district court held that surcharge could include not only make-whole relief, but also consequential, exemplary, or punitive damages in limited circumstances where malice or fraud is involved. Plaintiff Janet D’Iorio…more
| Civil Remedies, Labor & Employment Law, Insurance

In-Plan Roth Rollovers and After-Tax Contributions: Maximizing Deferrals with Limited Future Tax Liability

Plan sponsors seeking to provide employees with the ability to make after-tax contributions to a 401(k) plan may be interested in adding, along with the common Roth contribution feature, non-Roth after-tax contribution and…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Taxation

Second Circuit: Class-Wide Reformation Is Appropriate Equitable Relief

In the latest chapter of the Amara saga, the Second Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s class-wide order to reform CIGNA’s cash balance plan, as a means to remedy what the district court previously found to be CIGNA’s…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Health, Insurance

How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them. Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed settlement…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Business Torts, Insurance

Ninth Circuit Breathes Life Into Participant’s Claim for Surcharge

A panel of the Ninth Circuit withdrew its earlier opinion and has now joined other circuits in finding that the equitable remedy of surcharge is available for participants seeking recovery of personal losses as opposed to losses…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Business Torts

401(k) Plan Participant Waived ERISA Stock-Drop Claim

The D.C. Circuit affirmed the decision of a district court that Plaintiff Patrick Russell, a 401(k) plan participant, had knowingly waived his right to assert an ERISA stock-drop claim based on, among other things, the alleged…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Procedural Errors Don’t Alter Standard of Review In ERISA Claim for Benefits

The Ninth Circuit recently held that where an ERISA plan provides the plan administrator discretionary authority to determine benefit claims, procedural violations that occur during the course of the administrative claims…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking
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